Dear Iron Bloggers, Judges, Challengers and Loyal Readers,
Tonight I come before you to announce that what I set out to do with Iron Blog - to find out if I could create a place where people of different ideologies and parties could come together and discuss the day's issues without flaming - has been answered. My question at the core of this grand socio-political experiment was to see if gaps could be bridged and meaningful discourse could be had. Can we come from very different walks of life and civilly agree to disagree?
The answer, gentle reader, is yes.
More than the spectacle, more than the game and the winning and losing, /that/ is what I have always maintained this place was about. That we - you and everyone else who has come here and participated on any level - have succeeded is the greatest accomplishment we could ever have hoped for. True bipartisanship can happen, even during a disgustingly partisan election.
I have seen friendships formed here that simply never would have before - Chris and Robin, Jay and Thief, Rosemary and Pineapple Girl. People on polar opposites coming together and disagreeing, but still appreciating each other as human beings.
If only our elected officials could spend a week at Iron Blog, eh?
So no matter what happens next, what is to come or where we go, we will know what we did here, and we will be proud of it. I will forever be honored to have known you and watched these friendships grow.
Where is Iron Blog going? For now, into a holding pattern. There will be no more Battles for the near future - we just can't get them together right now. As a free, unpaid service the Judges, Iron Bloggers, Challengers and myself simply cannot get the time and numbers together to keep up the pace of the summer. All is not lost, however.
Starting next week I intend to start approaching major media sites - newspapers, blogs, online forums and the like, and I intend to seek sponsorship for Iron Blog as a commercial and professional endeavor. I envision an Iron Blog where we are free of Blogspot and Blogger, where our Judges get paid for their time, our Combatants get paid for their effort and I get paid for making the whole mad dance keep the rhythm. In this new environment I believe there could be a huge change in the response to what we need and what we do. Having committed, dedicated followers and supporters like yourselves working for free is a priceless gift, but Iron Blog just can't continue as is. We either need to shut it down or move it to the next level.
What can you do? Talk to people. Ask Kos, Instapundit, Charles and Atrios to take time from the partisan war and /SUPPORT FREE SPEECH/ and /TRUE PROGRESS/ in the blogosphere. The Daily Kos, Little Green Footballs, partisan bickering and party fundraisers are not what the blogosphere can truly be. The beauty of blogs is what /you/ have done, here, bringing people together to discuss the issues and find the answers. But only /you/ can bring it to the world at large. Help write emails to them, explaining how we are so much more than a parody of a cheesy cooking show, get them to voice their support. In going to the sponsors, having names like Markos Moulistas and Glenn Reynolds will /open doors/ that otherwise will remain locked. Tell them this site, this project deserves the simple effort of writing a statement in support of Iron Blog and its mission. Send them a link to this very post. Demand they do more than fight for their pet causes. We must fight for ALL VOICES to be heard.
Together we can move forward and prepare for the aftermath of this election. Someone is going to lose and someone is going to win and it may get ugly. There will be no better forum to bring people together to heal by meeting the minds than we have here, and there will be no better time to do it.
Thank you all for your dedication, donations, hard work and support so far. Words can never express my gratitude.